Joe Foster

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From the pages of the London Free Press: (www.lfpress.com)
Friday March 10, 2000

"Judge calls man sexual predator who abused authority.
Karate instructor jailed a year.


By Don Murray - Free Press Court Reporter.

Former karate school owner Joe Foster was sentenced to 12 months in jail yesterday by a judge who called him a sexual predator who used his position of authority and trust to abuse teenage, male students.

After an 8 day, non-jury trial last year, Superior Court Justice John Kennedy convicted the 40 year old former winner of the outstanding young londoner award on 3 sex-related charges and aquitted him on 7 others. The charges spanned 1982 to 1989 and included invitation to sexual touching, to indecent assault and sexual assault.

Yesterday, Kennedy rejected defence lawyer harry Black's bid for conditional sentence - house arrest - and arguments that the once-rising star has already suffered crushing penalties for acts that were not violent and registered on the low end of the offence scale.

Foster's wife wept as she hugged her husband before he was taken away by security officers.

On the other side of the courtroom were several former karate students, some involved in the charges, while in an American city a victim was calling the free press to find out what had happened.

That young man was 12 years old when Foster talked him into taking a shower at the school and , under the guise of manipulating tendons to improve stretching ability, touched his genitals.

Two of the three convictions related to that technique, which Foster testified was able to dramatically improve stretching - and, therby, kicking ability.

Kennedy called the technique "A figment of the accused's imagination used for the purpose of justifying his wrongful sexual agression and predation upon young students for...perverted gratification."

The former karate student int he U.S. said he felt lucky to have escaped with only a minor brush with Foster.

"I'm also glad the judge took us seriously in spite of all (Foster's) character references," he said, refering to a thick sheaf of positive letters from former students, friends, and business associates.

Foster, who holds a 5th degree black belt in Kenpo karate, is a highly regarded instructor who has taught in 12 countries. He also instructed the London Police emergency response team, ran the martial arts program for schools and taught thousands of students.

Another ex-student said in an interview he was glad the judge saw through "the screen of good deeds" which included raising money for charities."
 
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